September and October are usually a time when things on the lake start to slow down a bit. Summer is over, the air is crisp and cool. And the marinas start to prepare for the winter shutdown.
Not this September. Boaters and anglers took advantage of the nice weather in Big Bear to avoid the triple-digit temperatures at lower elevations during the month. The result was a busy month for the marinas that line the shore of Big Bear Lake.
“We had the best September in a long time,” said Loren Hafen, owner of Holloway’s Marina and North Shore Landing. Hafen said he plans to keep Holloway’s open for boat rentals until the first snow flies. Operations at North Shore Landing move to the south shore for the rest of the season, Hafen said.
Letters regarding winterizing went out to slip owners at Captain John’s Fawn Harbor and Marina in Fawnskin Oct. 2, according to Serena Saunders. “We will be open until Nov. 1,” Saunders said.
Captain John’s had a record-breaking year, Saunders said. “We had a bigger Labor Day holiday than the Fourth of July,” she said. September was especially good. Saunders attributes the good September to the hot summer down the hill and great weather in Big Bear.
At Big Bear Marina, owner Alan Sharp is slowly beginning winter preparations. “The whole season has been a real good year,” Sharp said. “It was definitely up from last year.”
Sharp said Big Bear Marina lost some revenue because of the August thunderstorms. “We made up for it in September,” he said. Before the marinas can switch to late-season hours or close for the season, there is one more event on the horizon. Several hundred anglers are expected in Big Bear Lake Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7, for the eighth annual Western Outdoor News-Big Bear TroutfesT. Sharp, whose Big Bear Marina serves as the weigh-in station, is expecting a big crowd for the event.
Those who waited until the last minute to register, can still do so. Contact Ashley Hartman at 949-366-0030, ext. 38.
Once the first weekend in October is history, that’s when the action will slow down for most people, Sharp said. At Big Bear Marina slip-holders are required to remove their boats by Nov. 1. “Everything else will be dependent on the weather,” Sharp said. “We do as much as we can when the weather is still good. Our second year we waited until Thanksgiving and then the weather turned. It’s no fun getting everything done when it’s cold.”
Sharp said by November those on the lake are the avid fishermen and women. October and November make up what’s called the late season on Big Bear Lake by the Big Bear Municipal Water District. The west public launch ramp closes Sunday, Oct. 7. The east public launch ramp is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning Monday, Oct. 8, through Nov. 30.